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The exterior of Workman’s Club in Dublin
Photograph: Workman’s Club

The 11 best nightlife spots in Dublin

Time to paint the town green, white and gold. Hit up the best nightlife in Dublin – one of the best nights on the planet

Éadaoin Fitzmaurice
Written by
Éadaoin Fitzmaurice
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Dublin is a raucous night out. Believe it or not, that is an understatement. When the Irish capital decides to paint the town red (or green, white and gold, to be exact), it doesn’t just splash a bit of colour around. The best nightlife in Dublin makes this place one of the best spots for partying in Europe, up there with Berlin, Barcelona, Budapest and the rest.

There is a laundry list of reasons to make Dublin your next getaway. The restaurants are committed to quality and creativity, while the Irish capital has quietly become a shopping hotspot. Still, Dublin is at its best when the sun goes down, the drinks are lined up, and the stories are told.

Best nightlife in Dublin

Hozier, Christy Moore, Glen Hansard, Mundy – they all began their careers at Whelan’s, Dublin’s premier live music venue. This Wexford Street institution draws a mix of old-school music heads and hip yopros who come for the jubilant atmosphere and stellar, indie-centric programme. Head to the back room, where two DJs are usually on hand, for the real craic.

If you’re music-mad, this is the place for you. The intimate Button Factory must be one of Temple Bar’s coolest hangouts, with live gigs spanning everything from up-and-coming indie band showcases to EDM DJ nights. The multi-level design ensures a sizeable crowd can get in every night, while friendly staff, brilliant acoustics and savage drinks combos seal the deal.

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This is Ireland’s most famous club and a rite of passage for anyone passing through Dublin. Pulling in a diverse mix of police, nurses, culchies (Irish from outside Dublin) and students, Coppers is the place to come if you fancy a night’s grooving to cheesy ’90s bangers, obligatory pint in hand. A huge venue with multiple bars and dance floors, it stays open later than most – making it a popular final stop on a night out.

The award-winning Workman’s is another go-to for comedy, karaoke and live music in central Dublin. This quirky Georgian townhouse club has a casual feel, boasting multiple dance floors and a huge beer garden with its very own Wowburger. What more could you really want?

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By day, you can sink into luxuriant armchairs, play board games and socialise with furry Dublin locals at this dog-friendly LGBTQ+ bar. By night, the vibe shifts up a gear. If you’re lucky, much-loved drag queen Pixie Woo might hit the decks and storm through a set of classic gay anthems. Expect disco, funk and reggae on other nights. There’s an extensive gin and whiskey menu, plus your usual craft beers and ales.

You couldn’t get more Irish than Smithfield’s The Cobblestone. Traditional live music, an old-school pub layout, Guinness aplenty: this quaint boozer has been going for decades, and a pit stop here feels like travelling back in time. On any given night, you may hear bluegrass, folk, country or traditional sean-nós, and you will inevitably be kept on your feet with some céilí as the night wears on.

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The Café En Seine must be the city’s most impressive cocktail bar. With its range of elegant art nouveau rooms spread across three floors, this classy venue is a popular choice among couples and large parties alike. Its pièce de résistance? The outdoor street garden is designed to resemble a Parisian shopping street. A decent soundtrack and first-rate service round out the thoroughly glam experience.

You could easily walk straight past this cocktail bar. But that mystique is very much part of Peruke & Periwig’s charm. Inside, the strangely beautiful décor – starring a mirrored bar and some 18th-century wigs – will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The cocktails are unconventional, the music chill: if you’re looking for a classy night and good vibes, head straight in.

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From the outside, the Bar With No Name looks enigmatic as its moniker suggests – only a street sign with a wooden snail on it hints at its existence. Head up the stairs, however, and you’ll find a speakeasy with multiple seating areas fringed with red velour curtains, and out the back, a circus tent-style beer garden that’s always brimming. Nearby, you’ll also find nightlife hot spots including Hogans, Fade Street Social, Idlewild and The Drury Buildings – making this the perfect area for a mini-pub crawl.

Tucked at the back of a top-notch sushi restaurant, Tengu is one of the hottest clubs in Dublin right now. Spread across two rooms, this edgy spot prides itself on having one of the best sound systems in the capital. Genres are a good mix – so whether you’re more into R’n’B, disco or techno, there’s a night for you here. Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11pm until late.

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